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Arnold School of Public Health

  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics faculty members posing

Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Public Health was defined by C-E.A. Winslow as the science and the art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting physical health and efficiency through organized community efforts with the goal of enabling every citizen to realize his/her birthright of health and longevity. 

The disciplines of epidemiology and biostatistics are essential to achieving the goals of public health, and combining these two disciplines in a single department creates synergies for both training and research. Epidemiologists study the distribution and determinants of health and disease in populations.  Biostatisticians develop and apply statistical theory, methods and techniques to public health research data and the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health programs. Given the strong overlap, epidemiologists and biostatisticians often collaborate to work toward the shared goal of generating and analyzing data to advance the public’s health.

Within the department, the degree programs are administered under two separate streams, the Division of Epidemiology and Division of Biostatistics.

Find out more about the department and what we offer in our welcome from the Chair.

Degrees Offered

We offer eight advanced degrees in epidemiology and biostatistics. Each graduate degree has specific application deadlines and requirements.



Epidemiology and Biostatistics News

Pieter Baker

Epidemiology assistant professor Pieter Baker brings new perspective to infectious disease research

Pieter Baker is approaching the intersection of drugs, germs and justice from every angle - looking at bacteria/viruses and injectable drugs to immigration policies and the criminal justice system.

Nandita Perumal

Nandita Perumal invited to join World Health Organization's Technical Advisory Group on Gestational Weight Gain

Just one semester into her first faculty appointment, Nandita Perumal is already stepping up as a thought leader in gestational weight gain - particularly in a global context. The epidemiology assistant professor has published a key paper and joined a new taskforce.

Melissa Nolan

USC Research Institutes are now live on

The USC Office of the Vice President for Research has announced the website launches for five new research institutes, including the Institute for Infectious Disease Translational Research led by epidemiology associate professor Melissa Nolan.  

Nasim Nishat

I Am Public Health: Nasim Saba Nishat

Ph.D. in Biostatistics student Nasim Saba Nishat is determined to address health disparities by using data to help clinicians find the optimal treatment dosages for patients to ensure safer and more effective health care.

DEI 2023 Awards

2023 DEI Awards announced

The Arnold School is pleased to announce the 2023 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awards, which are designed to recognize alumni, faculty, staff and students who have made exceptional contributions to advancing DEI.

Steven Blair

A legend in life and beyond. Arnold School community remembers the life of Steven N. Blair

The unexpected passing of Distinguished Professor Emeritus Steven N. Blair last month has had a widespread impact on Arnold School faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends. His career reached far beyond USC and spanned six decades.

Nandita Perumal

Perinatal and pediatric epidemiologist Nandita Perumal boosts Arnold School's global health expertise

Her research aims to improve maternal, newborn, and child nutrition, health and development in vulnerable populations by understanding the causes of adverse maternal and child health outcomes as well as the long-term consequences of adverse exposures in early life.

More Arnold School News

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